Toxicity is one of the key MMO topics in 2018 so far (next to lootcrates). Many studios have taken, or are at least trying to take, a stance against hostile behavior in their games. Whether that’s toxicity from players towards devs or players towards each other, it has become increasingly important for games to deal with it. Especially with the emergence of e-sports the pressure is on the publishers to show the competitive “PG” sportsmanship that viewers know from other sports. Rants, death threats, and toxicity don’t exactly fit that.
Should Bans on Forums Extend to Ingame?
The ultimate punishment studios obviously have is suspending or even completely banning a user’s account. While this might prevent players from being toxic ingame (to avoid getting reported), many still feel save to freely rant on message boards and official social media channels. Last month a former Cryptic Studio developer and the current Neverwinter Community Manager took their frustration to Twitter and argued for bans to extend to ingame accounts if you’ve been removed from other official platforms.
I wish there were better guidelines so everyone in charge or bans across different places could align.
— Julia Fredrickson (@trianakvetch) June 6, 2018
Sounds Reasonable, but Is It?
This might sound like a reasonable suggestion, but is it? If you take Neverwinter for example, the game’s forum is run by volunteer players, which you don’t want to give the power to ban ingame accounts at all. Sure, the Community Manager is theoretically supervising all actions and is the only one that can actually ban forum accounts (mods can only hand out warnings or “shadow ban”). But given the lack of resources and time we wouldn’t be surprised if the CM usually just greenlights everything. Let’s say that this would come with certain concerns about accountability and conflict of interest.
Also where do draw the line in that case? Are you also monitoring Twitch, Youtube, social accounts? Are you also banning not aligning to ethical and political views? Controlling how people treat each other in a game is certainly a responsibility of studios. Controlling what people play your game isn’t. The gray area between the two aspects isn’t something you should take lightly.
Might Not Be in Line with Privacy Law
Furthermore Chris Meyer later stated that people shouldn’t even be able to move to another game, basically suggesting some sort of “toxicity” database that keeps records and can be accessed by devs. Not sure how the dude missed those privacy scandals lately, but at least in the EU this might not even be possible due to actual law. So this might be hyperbole, but shows how important of a topic it is for some people.
We want to get your opinion on the topic in this week’s poll! Should behavior shown outside the game should affect your account?
Should Bans on Forums Extend to Ingame Accounts?
- Nope! (37%, 166 Votes)
- In the most extreme cases this might make sense, but not generally! (29%, 130 Votes)
- Only if all bans are manually and thoroughly being reviewed by a paid Cryptic staffer (24%, 105 Votes)
- Yes, absolutely! (10%, 44 Votes)
Total Voters: 445
Share your opinion by taking part in our poll! You can also detail your thoughts on our social channels, in the comments below, or the corresponding thread on our message board! Also, here are the results of last week’s poll, in which we wanted to know how you prefer to farm your Hunt trophies.
Are You a Hunt Farmer or Thief?
- Farming rare mobs myself! (57%, 356 Votes)
- I use varying methods to get my trophies! (24%, 152 Votes)
- I'm rich, I just buy what I need! (12%, 74 Votes)
- Instance hopping and thieving ftw.! (8%, 48 Votes)
Total Voters: 630
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